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The Last Best Place - Intro

A return to Montana and Glacier National Park

I saw a quote once that said, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “WOW, What a Ride!”

I think this quote perfectly captures the essence of our trips to Montana.

Glacier National Park is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on earth and one of the most technologically unreachable. While there, you are more likely to see a mountain goat, a double rainbow and snow in August all in one day than you are to spot one bar on your iPhone or find a television in your room. It’s not a vacation that is about relaxation or luxury. It isn’t about fine cuisine, wine, or top hotel suites. It isn’t about shows or shopping malls. A trip to Montana is hard. Our bodies get tired and abused. We sleep on the ground or in bunk beds inside a modest turn of the century lodge with no telephone, television, or air conditioning. We eat beef jerky and string cheese and drink water collected from mountain streams. We push ourselves to our physical limits and reach at least one point every day that we are certain we can’t go any farther.

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Why do we do it?

It’s about reconnecting with nature, with one another, and with our creator. It’s about unplugging from everything we know and immersing ourselves in the outdoors with nothing but our own conversation and the sound of the trail under our feet. It’s a time to simplify and strip down, to challenge our bodies and to remember that there is more out there than the view from our office.

There is no gourmet food that tastes better than a hot cup of soup after you have hiked 15 miles up and down a mountain pass with a 25 lb. pack on your back. There is no luxury hotel room that is finer than a sleeping bag beside a stream underneath a blanket of stars in a dark that is uninterrupted by street lights. There is no amount of entertainment that is better than the conversations Matt and I have when we spend 8 hours just walking together.

We never feel more alive than when we are in Montana.

That’s why we continue to dust off the hiking boots every couple of years, pull out the packs, and Febreeze the tent. It’s time to head out west.

As John Muir so eloquently stated, “The mountains are calling, and I must go….”

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Posted by vicki_h 14.09.2012 13:10 Archived in USA Tagged hiking west camping backpacking outdoors montana glacier_national_park

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Comments

Significantly contemplative... waiting to go.

14.09.2012 by lprof

I'm about as likely to ever go hiking as I am to stop eating cheeseburgers, but dang if you don't make it oh-so-tempting to try! :)

15.09.2012 by TTG

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